Well, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a few moves in the last few days, and it certainly changes our outlook for their offseason.
The Cardinals signed both Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson to one-year deals with club options for 2025, stabilizing the back of their rotation while still having a massive hole (or two) at the top of their rotation.
While most of us are still puzzled by the Lynn and Gibson signings, the path forward for St. Louis is clear: sign or trade for a top-of-the-rotation talent (and honestly, they should still be aiming for two).
John Mozeliak's message during his press conference was that the Cardinals are "not done", so here are seven players that the Cardinals need to be targeting immediately to not just salvage this rotation, but truly set themselves up for success in 2024.
7. Jordan Montgomery
A reunion with Jordan Montgomery would probably feel pretty underwhelming considering the Gibson and Lynn signings, but he would provide talent at the top of the rotation that the Cardinals desperately need. The problem with bringing in Montgomery is that it feels more like St. Louis is raising the floor of last year's team, rather than trying to raise the ceiling as well.
Gibson and Lynn, in theory, should stabilize the Cardinals' number four and five starters in a way they also needed badly. Whenever the Cardinals would trout out Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, Jake Woodford, and Jack Flaherty, they often times were getting very few innings, allowing a ton of runs, and killing both their chances to win that specific game and their bullpen for future games. While Lynn and Gibson won't be immune to games like that, the idea is they can consistently give the Cardinals 6 or 7 innings while allowing 3-4 runs. That keeps you in games consistently.
The problem with bringing in Montgomery (if he's the long "major" addition), is that you've already seen what he can do for you at the top of a rotation. When he's on his game, Montgomery can go toe to toe with anyone in baseball. But he's not a number-one starter, and anything above being the second-best pitcher on the staff is not a winning formula, especially if the second-best starter would be Miles Mikolas or Steven Matz.
Montgomery makes the list because he would be a solid addition, and if they bring in two front-line arms, he'd certainly make for a great addition as one of those. But if the Cardinals do only target one of those guys, they need to swing higher than Montgomery then.